The crown jewel of Arizona's COVID-19 vaccination effort will soon close.
The state-run vaccine distribution site at State Farm Stadium - the home of the Arizona Cardinals - in Glendale will soon transition to an indoor site at Gila River Arena - home of the Arizona Coyotes - as Arizona's temperatures start to heat up, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced in a news release. The Gila River site will open April 23.
“Arizona is so thankful to the Arizona Cardinals, Michael Bidwill and the Bidwill family, and all of the partners who stepped up to help make our first state-run vaccination site a national success,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “This is a true team effort, and the mission to get Arizonans vaccinated continues with this new location.”
State Farm Stadium was hailed by President Joe Biden as a "national model" when he virtually toured the site in the early days of his presidency. To date, the site has distributed more than 632,000 vaccines to Arizonans.
State Farm will still move to nighttime hours starting Monday before moving operations to Gila River. The new site will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and will be able to administer 1,000 shots per hour at full capacity.
“President Biden and others have cited the State Farm Stadium operation as a model for mass-vaccination,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director. “This site will continue to be a national model for mass vaccination as we shift outdoor operations to indoor locations. Gila River Arena and city of Glendale, in partnership with ADHS and the Arizona Cardinals, are making it possible to continue vaccinating while the Glendale operation gets closer to administering 1 million doses.”
Gila River's main concourse will be used to check patients in and the arena's seats will be used for patients to be observed for 15 or 30 minutes after they receive their vaccine. Parking at the site will be free. Guests will enter through the venue's main entrance at Gate 4 for their appointments.
Appointments at each state-run vaccination site open every Friday at 11 a.m. for the following week. Arizonans can register online at podvaccine.azdhs.gov or by calling 844-542-8201 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“I encourage all Arizonans to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible at a location near them. It’s safe, it’s effective and it’s completely free,” said Mr. Ducey.
As of Friday morning, approximately 1,380,430 people in the state are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.